In Australia, excess body fat and obesity is becoming an increasingly serious problem. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states that nearly two in three Aussie adults (63 per cent) are either overweight or obese, and the numbers continue to increase with 10 per cent more Australians overweight or obese now than they were 20 years ago.
Being overweight or obese is the second-highest contributor to longer-term health conditions – above even smoking.
The weight of living
A staggering 10 per cent more of Australians are either overweight or obese than they were 20 years ago.
Health professionals in Australia are concerned about the rising tide of obesity in Australia not just because it is showing little sign of slowing down, but because of what it can potentially lead to. Type-2 diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers can result from obesity, which is why leading a healthy lifestyle is of paramount importance.
As a personal trainer or health and fitness professional, you'll have heard countless opinions, myths, misconceptions and fallacies regarding weight loss and your client will ask you about them all! If you are a client embarking upon the journey to health and fitness, here's just a few myths you may have encountered…
Myth #1: Carbohydrates should be completely avoided
Not all carbohydrates will see you tip the scales in an undesirable fashion. However, it is true that eating processed carbs, which are typically found in such foods as white breads, muffins, biscuits and certain pastas, can see the weight pile on due to their high sugar levels.
However, there is no need to fully eliminate carbohydrates completely from a healthy, well-balanced diet. By opting for what could be termed 'good' carbs, not only will weight gain be minimised, but the body will be given a helping hand when it comes to exercise.
That's because we use carbohydrates to power our bodies during exercise, which, in turn, burns fat as we do. Foods such as brown rice, whole grain bread and beans are replete in these 'good' carbohydrates, and are also home to a range of other beneficial nutrients.
Myth #2: Breakfast should be made up of nothing but fruit
An article published by the Victorian government's Better Health Channel states that there is precisely zero evidence that suggest eating nothing but fruit for breakfast will help a person to lose weight. Though most fruits are, of course, an excellent source of several vitamins, minerals and nutrients, the majority of them are not particularly high in complex carbohydrates.
These carbs are a great way to fuel the body upon waking, after several hours without food. By eating only fruit in the morning, the body will not be receiving this fuel, meaning that it may not be able to function to optimum levels.
A good idea would be to eat a balanced breakfast that includes whole-grain cereals, toast and eggs. Of course, fruit is still a healthy addition to your morning meal, just as long as it is eaten with other wholesome foods.
Myth #3: To lose weight I must follow the latest trends – paleo, juicing, lemon diet…
Simply not true. Losing weight and maintaining the loss means you need to lead a healthy lifestyle, not make drastic changes for a 12-week period that are then very hard (or unhealthy) to maintain. Yes, kick starting with a 12-week period can help with your motivation but you need to realise it's a life-long shift. And, it's important to not beat yourself up over the latest trends, just remember, healthy, non-processed foods, most of the time, coupled with regular exercise will keep you on the right path. And, treats in moderation!.
Helping people to lose weight is a big part of a personal trainer's life – why not take a look at AFA's range of courses if you'd like a rewarding career in this field?